How do you connect a portable generator to a house with a transfer switch? Can you do it? Should you hire a professional? What are the risks? Owning a portable generator has many benefits, but connecting it to your house can be a smart decision, assuming you buy the right generator, like a 50 Amp model, which has the most flexibility.
We cover a lot of territory here, including, which transfer switches are suitable.
How to CONNECT —
A portable generator to a house with a transfer switch
A generator can be an important consideration when planning your emergency preparedness. Remember the last time the power went out? Your immediate solution was to use the portable generator in the garage. It was a messy solution with extension cords all over the floor, with the only lighting provided by table lamps. So now, you’ve decided to connect a portable generator to the house with a transfer switch. Connecting a portable generator to the house with a transfer switch will give you a convenient, safe way to use the generator in an emergency.
To help you, this article is going to explain to you how to connect a portable generator to your house with a transfer switch.
Indeed, a transfer switch like the Pro/Tran 2 or the EmerGen Switch offers the best, safest solution for connecting a generator to the house. With the transfer switch, it is easy to connect the house supply to a generator. As we progress through the article, we will look at ways to use a transfer switch with a generator and we will discuss some transfer switches and portable generators that you can consider. We will also help you select a generator that will meet your needs. In case you have a generator already, we will supply you with guidelines to make sure that you use the generator fully without overloading it.
Watch this excellent VIDEO from This Old House
What is a transfer switch and how does it work?
During a power outage, a transfer switch will provide a way to utilize generator power safely through the existing electrical wiring of the house. The house wiring will supply electrical power to all the outlets and lighting points so it offers a convenient way of connecting the single outlet from the generator to the house. However, you need to install a transfer switch close to the breaker box in order to safely and conveniently transfer the house wiring from utility power to the generator.
The transfer switch is not really a switch as such, but rather a switch panel installed next to your home electrical panel. You connect the house circuit breakers to the transfer switch circuits. A convenient connection socket is also installed outside the house to connect the generator. When the power goes out, you connect the generator to the outside wall socket and start the generator, you then go inside and use the transfer switch to switch over the house wiring to the generator.
▶ Full Panel > 50 Amp : DuroMax XP12000EH : 12Kw Max / 9.5Kw Running
The transfer switch provides a safe transfer by first disconnecting the utility supply from the house and then connecting the generator to the house. The opposite is also true when switching back to the utility supply. This an important step in transferring the power, when transferring power to the generator it is possible that the utility power can be restored by the time you have started up the generator and connected it to the house.
Should the transfer switch not break the circuit before making it, it’s possible that both supplies connect to the same circuit at the same time. When this happens, the house circuit breakers and the generator breakers will trip. Apart from all the sparks and sound of tripping, nothing will be damaged, but to make it a workable solution you will have to switch off the circuit breakers before making the changeover. The make before break transfer switch prevents such a mishap and inconvenience. You can safely transfer power even if both the utility power and the generator power is available
A Permanent Stand-by Generator is always an option
The transfer switches that we will be discussing operate manually. This is because we’re focusing on connecting a portable generator to the house wiring. Automatic transfer switches are used in cases where a permanent standby generator is installed. These will automatically connect the generator during a power outage. In this case, the generator must start up automatically and when running, it supplies electricity to the motor driven automatic transfer switch, which transfers the power. It is a convenient way of doing things, but costly. We discussed this in an article and review – Best Home Generator | The Complete Home Generator Buying Guide that we did in MAY 28, 2017.
However, automatic transfer switches cannot be used to connect your portable generator to the house. You want the freedom to move your portable generator around, using it where and when needed. You do not want it tied to the house permanently. Therefore, when the need arises, you need a manual switch that you use to transfer the house to your generator.
Manual transfer switches have multiple switches that you use to transfer a house sub circuit to the generator. This setup enables you to connect only the circuits you need, thereby limiting the load on the generator. Switching one circuit at a time protects the generator against a sudden full load by increasing the load progressively as you switch over.
A licensed electrician or qualified professional will easily install the transfer switch and certify its use.
▶ Champion 100111 > Power your entire house : 12,000 Watt Generator
Should you install a transfer switch yourself or hire a professional?
I’ve mentioned that a qualified person easily installs a transfer switch and that raises the question: is it not possible or desirable to do it yourself? Well, if you are a competent handyman and know how to choose which sub-circuits the generator will power during a power outage. You also understand a floating neutral connection, load balancing and what power surges are. Furthermore, you know the difference between 240V and 120V circuits; then you probably can attempt the installation, but it is best left to a professional.
Improper installation of a transfer switch could cause damage or personal injury by electrocution or fire. A qualified electrician should do the installation in compliance with all applicable electrical codes in your area. Should you decide to do it yourself; the installation guides for the Pro/Tran 2 or the EmerGen Switch transfer switches will be a valuable aid. For safety sake and to protect your insurance, make sure you have it certified when done.
VIDEO | How to Install a Manual Transfer Switch for a Portable Generator
What is a breaker box or home electrical panel?
The electric panel is used to redistribute the incoming electricity safely from your electric company throughout your home using sub-circuits.
The electrical panel is also called a breaker box because it is fitted with safety devices known as circuit breakers. Circuit breakers are designed to cut the power by breaking the connection when the load handled by that circuit breaker becomes too much.
A circuit breaker is an electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit. It will automatically interrupt the current flow when a fault is detected. It was designed as a more convenient replacement for a fuse. It protects the circuit from damage caused by excess current, typically resulting from an overload or short circuit. Unlike a fuse, which must be replaced when blown, a circuit breaker can be reset to resume normal operation. Each circuit supplying things like your lights, stove, fans, pumps, and so on has a circuit breaker.
In the US, there are two main types of standard breakers:
The two types of circuit breakers are the single pole and double pole types.
Single pole breakers have a single switch. Most of the breakers in the breaker box are likely to be single breakers. These breakers are designed for 120 volts and are available from 5 to 20 amps.
The double pole breakers are usually rated from 15 to 125 amps. They look like two switches joined by a handle tie or bar and are connected to 240 volts. Double pole breakers are used for large consumption appliances like stoves, dryers, air conditioners and water heaters.
Special purpose breakers such as Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI) and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) can also be installed to provide additional safety protection from fire (AFCI) and electrocution (GFCI).
How to select the correct transfer switch?
Manual transfer switches are not all equal. Some transfer switches can be installed either inside or outside the house, while some may only be used inside. With the switch installed on the outside of the house, it is convenient to connect the generator and at the same time switch over a circuit before you go inside. The disadvantage with this setup is that you have to go outside should a circuit breaker trip, while the problem is inside the house. You also have to consider the weather for an outside installation. A roof overhang must protect the outside switch to make sure it is not snowed over in winter. It will also protect you from standing in the rain while connecting the generator and flipping the switches, not a good prospect when working with electricity!
Do transfer switches come in different sizes?
Another consideration is that not all houses are equal. Because of this, transfer switch manufacturers offer more than one model in order to cater for houses with, for example 4, 6 or 10 circuits. At the load center, circuit breakers protect the sub-circuits in case of a failure or short. When transferring these circuits to the generator, another set of circuit breakers are used to protect the generator. Another type of switch is used to connect the house circuit breakers to the generator. The disadvantage is that the whole house is transferred to the generator – most portable generators cannot support the whole home.
What about Watts and kVA ratings?
Does the transfer switch have a Watt rating? Yes, you have to match the Watt rating of the generator to the Amps rating of the circuit breaker and consequently, the Wattage load of each circuit in your house. If you already have a generator, you must consider the Wattage rating of the generator when choosing the circuits you want to connect to it. On the other hand, if you need to buy a generator, you can match it to the demand of your house circuits. We will discuss this later in this article, so keep reading.
Determine your generator plug type
If you already have a generator, you must determine what type of connectors it has. You only want to connect the house to a generator that has a big round plug like the one in the picture.
This type of connection will provide 220V as per the US standard and can therefore power both sides of your breaker box. If that type of connector is not available, you may have to replace the generator or consult with a qualified electrician or professional to determine if it is possible to make a plan.
What is a power inlet box?power
The power inlet box is mounted to the outside of a wall. The extension from the generator will plug into this box. This is a convenient connection point in an area where it is not exposed to the elements too much, with a smooth flat surface nearby for the generator to stand on. Do not be tempted to mount this in the garage or some other enclosed area, the generator will be running close by and you do not want all those dangerous fumes and exhaust gasses trapped indoors. Place the generator where there is plenty air circulating and where the noise from the running generator will not interfere with the neighbor’s well-being.
How do you use a generator connected to a transfer switch?
First, you go outside, get the generator out, and ready. Then you connect the power cord set to the generator and to the power inlet socket. Only then can you start it and let it run for a while, allowing it to reach its working temperature. With the generator running and connected to the house, you return indoors to transfer the house circuits to the generator – one at a time.
You use a set of switches on the transfer switch to swing the connection from utility power to generator power; a circuit breaker is installed for each switch. On some models, two Watt-meters are provided to aid in doing the transfer. You would normally use the transfer switch that powers the lights first, so you can see what you are doing and then you connect the other circuits that you selected during the installation.
What size generator do you need to power your home?
A lot of that will come down to what you are prepared to spend on a portable generator. It will also be limited to how portable you prefer your generator to be. The bigger a unit gets, the heavier it is and therefore becomes less portable and more difficult to move around. Unfortunately, this is the price you pay for more power. The bigger units are also more expensive, noisier and use more gas. All this means that you have to balance things out, but don’t worry; we will guide you all the way through. The generator reviews we do regularly also select the best generators for the task.
To choose which generator you need, you have to decide which house circuits the generator must power during a power outage. The recommended circuits include the fireplace fan or furnace fan (gas or fuel only) during winter, sump pump if you have a need for it, the refrigerator may need power if the outage takes longer than a day and the same applies for the freezer, one kitchen appliance circuit and one or more lighting circuits. Normally a small UPS connected to the same supply supports the Wi-Fi router, cell phone chargers, computer and possibly a TV.
However, the choice is really up to you. If you live in an area with a mild climate, you will probably choose to have the lights, alarm system and garage door opener connected. Considering that power outages can last longer than a day, you may feel the need to connect the refrigerator or freezer, sump pump and plasma TV.
The sky is not the limit though. Your choices will be limited by the Wattage rating of your generator. The generator manufacturers supply configuration tables that you can use to illustrate the dilemma. We only selected a couple of appliances and some lighting. Even then, we end up using 4495 Watts with a whopping 5700 Watts needed during startup if all appliances start together. You will also notice that the freezer is the real culprit here and we need to keep in mind that it cycles on and off all the time. Therefore, in this setup, you will have to allow for a 5700-Watt generator. Not so cheap anymore and the prices rise sharply as the Wattage goes up.
Appliances selected were:
- Two refrigerator or freezer units: 800 Watts each with starting watts of 2300 each
- One 1/4 hp Garage door opener: 550 Watts each with starting watts of 1100each
- Five light bulbs (Incandescent): 60 Watts each
- Five light bulbs (LED): 9 Watts each
- Ten light bulbs (CFL): 15 Watts each
- One radio: 10 Watt
- One television: 300 Watt
- One Hair dryer: 1500 Watt
Also, keep in mind that the generator must have the big round plug for connecting to the house.
How do you ensure the generator is ready when needed?
To make sure the generator is ready when you need it, you will have to do some work. It is important to perform the following steps at least once a month to keep the generator in peak running condition and to keep yourself and the family in tune with using the transfer switch.
- Exercising a generator set drives off moisture, re-lubricates the engine, replaces stale fuel and removes oxides from electrical contacts. The result is better starting, more reliable operation, and longer engine life.
- Keep the fuel tank filled with fresh fuel, top it up after every test.
- If the generator must be stored and not exercised for more than a month, lock the carburetor and drain it. Remember to open the cog again when running the generator.
- By running the generator regularly, the automatic battery recharging system on the engine will maintain battery charge.
- With the transfer switch installed, it is not necessary to turn off any circuits in the load center (Home electrical panel) when supplying generator power. Even when the utility power is operating normally, the double-throw action of the switches prevents feeding generator power to the utility and prevents utility power getting to the generator.
The National Electrical Code states the connection of a generator to any electrical circuit normally powered by an electrical utility service, must be by means of an approved transfer switch. The purpose of the transfer switch is to isolate the electrical circuit from the utility system when the generator is operating.
A licensed electrician or qualified professional must install the transfer switch according to local code.
- The portable generator used with the transfer switch, must be used outside of any building.
- This product is suitable only for use with a generator with floating neutral and you should follow the generator manufacturer’s instructions for removing the bond between the generator neutral and frame.
- Always plug the power cord set into your generator and into the power inlet box before starting the generator and always shut the generator down before detaching the power cord set.
- Do not overload your generator or its circuit breakers will trip. Using the transfer switch’s built-in Watt meters, you can balance the loads to avoid impeding your generator’s performance.
- During installation of the inlet box, locate it a minimum of 10 feet away from any opening in the building that would allow carbon monoxide to enter the premises.
- It is dangerous to operate a generator in an enclosed area. Do not operate a generator where the exhaust fumes can accumulate in an enclosed area.
Best Transfer Switches to connect a generator to a house
We’re reviewing transfer switches from two manufacturers that can be used to connect a generator to a house. The first to be discussed is the very flexible range of transfer switches from Reliance Controls Corporation. The second discussion focuses on two transfer switches from Connecticut Electric.
Reliance Controls Corporation Pro/Tran and Pro/Tran-2 transfer switches
The best transfer switches, in our opinion, are the Pro/Tran and Pro/Tran-2 transfer switches supplied by Reliance Controls Corporation. These Reliance Controls manual transfer switch kits are designed for fast installation in residential and commercial applications. I will review one of the models, the Pro/Tran model 31410CRK and then compare it to the Pro/Tran-2 model 310CRK. Pro/Tran-2 is the new generation model range of this popular switch. Currently both models are available online from Amazon.
Reliance Controls Corporation offers a wide range of transfer switches. The Pro/Tran range has 19 models and the Pro/Tran 2 range has 22 models. All models are supplied complete with factory wired switches and circuit breakers, as well as a 16-inch flexible conduit whip which attaches easily to a knockout on the load center (breaker box).
The Reliance Controls Corporation website is easy to find and offers detailed specifications for all models and a complete installation manual for download. With such a wide range of models to choose from, you can buy a switch that fits your needs exactly. They offer a product selector guide on their website that makes it easy to select the switch you need.
(Up to 7.5kW generator)
- Kit includes 31410C ten-circuit pre-wired transfer switch, PC3010 power cord (10 feet, 10 AWG, L14-30 ends), PB30 outdoor painted steel power inlet box, wire nuts, and L14-20 male plug for 20A generator outlets
- Convenient kit for your transfer switch, circuitry and multi-wiring needs
Maximum generator running watts: 7,501
- 18-inch flexible conduit whip attaches easily, and indoor surface mount transfer switch designed for fast installation in both residential and commercial applications
- cUL1008 listed and comes with a 5-year product warranty
The 31410CRK transfer switch kit is designed for fast installation in residential and commercial applications. The 18-inch flexible conduit whip attaches easily to the load center and all wires are clearly marked. Simply select the house circuits needed in an emergency and connect them to the Pro/Tran wire leads.
Pro/Tran transfer switches feature a rugged powder-coated steel cabinet. This ensures that it remains rust free.
VIDEO | How to Install Reliance Pro/Tran Transfer Switch
The Pro/Tran 31410CRK utilizes break-before-make double-throw toggle switches to make sure that the circuits cannot connect the generator to the utility power. This means that it will disconnect the mains power before connecting to the generator to make any transfer safe and convenient.
It is supplied with a combination of six 1/2-inch and 3/4-inch knockouts for wire routing. Resettable branch rated circuit breakers are installed for each circuit to protect the generator against overloads. This model features exclusive Reliance watt meters. This makes it easy to balance the load while transferring the house circuits to the generator.
The 31410CRK kit includes: one 31410C ten-circuit prewired transfer switch, PC3010 power cord for connecting the generator to the outdoor power inlet box (10 feet, 10 AWG, L14-30 ends). Also included in the kit is a PB30 painted steel power inlet box for outdoor mounting to conveniently connect the generator to the indoor transfer switch. Wire nuts for fitting and an L14-20 male plug for 20A generator outlets are also included.
This transfer switch is designed for a 7500 watts maximum generator. It is for use with single-phase installations. It is factory wired for ten circuits, each with a transfer switch and a resettable branch rated circuit breaker. Six of the circuit breakers are 15 AMP single pole circuit breakers and four are 20 AMP single pole circuit breakers.
It is possible to use all 10 circuits as single pole, 125VAC circuits. Another configuration could utilize some of the switches interlinked with a bridge and wired to supply 250 VAC up to a maximum of 5 circuits. A typical configuration could be with 6 single pole, 125VAC circuits and 2 double pole 250 VAC circuits.This gives you the versatility that you want when adapting the transfer switch to your individual needs.
What is the difference between the Pro/Tran 31410CRK and the Pro/Tran 2 310CRK?
The Reliance Controls Pro/Tran 2 310CRK is the new generation version of the Pro/Tran 31410CRK switch. Like all the Pro/Tran 2 models, it is approved for most brands of 1-inch interchangeable circuit breakers and are easily re-configured in the field for multiple double-pole circuits. It means the transfer switch has a new, sleek look because of the interchangeable circuit breakers and it offers complete flexibility during installation. The Pro/Tran does not offer this level of customization due to the circuit breakers used.
The Pro/Tran 2 series is fully compliant with all regulations and codes. It is UL Listed to UL Standard 1008, and is suitable for use in accordance with Article 702 of the National Electrical Code ANSI/NFPA 70.
The Pro/Tran 2 Transfer Switches can support a running generator from 1875 Watts to 12500 Watts maximum.
All, except the small 4-circuit model (R104B Pro/Tran 2), have color-coded Watt meters to help balance and manage the generator load.These meters allow you to observe the load that you’re drawing off the generator and eliminate the chance of tripping the generator’s circuit breakers.
Six models can be installed outdoors and include 4, 6 and 10 circuit models and sixteen are designed for indoor installation. The indoor transfer switches can be surface mounted for a neat, flush to the wall appearance. You won’t have an unsightly installation in your home. Instead, it will be a neat and professional looking installation.
The Reliance Pro/Tran 2 outdoor rated (NEMA 3R) transfer switches are ideal for outdoor installation in residential and commercial applications. The steel cabinet is powder-coated with a key lock door and keys that seal tight with gaskets. It has a factory installed power inlet socket on the bottom for connecting to the generator cord.
The Reliance Controls Corporation is a US manufacturer; as a local company, they offer the best support and guarantee. Something that the imported model suppliers cannot equal.
Connecticut Electric EmerGen G2 switches
Up to 7.5kW generator — featuring 30A, 10 circuit ‘G2’ series transfer switch, 30A rainproof generator inlet box and 30A, 10 foot power cord.
- For use with any portable generator that has up to 30-Amp output, NEMA L1430
- Double throw rocker switches absolutely eliminate the possibility of power back feeding to the utility line or to your generator when power is restored
- 2 pole circuits allows 240-Volt circuits – perfect for well or sump pump applications, if a two pole circuit is not needed, the tie bar can be removed to allow for two single pole circuits
- Can be installed indoor or outdoor – easily wires up to a NEMA 3R rainproof power inlet box (included)
- Transfer switch is compatible with all load centers and specifically approved with challenger, cutler hammer, GE, home line, Siemens, Square D and Westinghouse load centers
- Also includes a 10 ft. 30-Amp power cord set and an optional male 20-Amp cord end (for use with a 20-Amp output generator)
Connecticut Electric supplies only two EmerGen “G2” series, generator transfer switches. The EmerGen G2 Switches feature a model 10-7501G2; that has ten circuits and the model 6-7501G2 with six circuits. Both models are designed for 30A maximum (7200 Watt).
Standard accessories supplied with the EmerGen G2 transfer switch include a 30A rainproof generator inlet box and a 30A, 10-foot power cord for connecting the generator to the inlet box. These transfer switches are rated to handle a generator of up to 7.5kW (7500 Watt).
An important limitation of the EmerGen is that it CANNOT HANDLE ANY CIRCUITS GREATER THAN 20A.
Specifications of the two models
Model number 6-7501G2: (with EmerGen EGS107501G2KIT)
- Maximum Combined Loads at 250 VAC: 30 Amps
- Total Circuits: 6
- Number of 15 Amp Circuits: 4
- Number of 20 Amp circuits: 2
Model number 10-7501G2: (with EmerGen EGS107501G2KIT)
- Maximum Combined Loads at 250 VAC: 30 Amps
- Total Circuits: 10
- Number of 15 Amp Circuits: 6
- Number of 20 Amp circuits: 4
The steel cabinet is powder-coated with a door that seals tight with gaskets. The door is fitted with an over center lock to keep it closed. It can be installed outdoors or indoors. When mounted indoors, it can be mounted flush to the wall with an optional Flush Cover Kit FC-657 (six circuit) or FC-1075 (10 circuit).
These EmerGen Switches are rated for 240-volt operation and have a handle tie installed. The handle-tie ties two circuit selector switches together in order to provide for 240-volt circuits in the following positions:
- Model 6-7501G2; Circuits C & D
- Model 10-7501G2; Circuits D & I and Circuits E & J
Connecticut Electric is a manufacturer in Anderson, Indiana.
Best generator models for connecting to a transfer switch
In our review of the Best Home Generator | The Complete Home Generator Buying Guide that we did in MAY 28, 2017, we discussed a range of standby generators that can be connected to a house with a transfer switch. In that article, we differentiated between standby (permanent installation) and portable generators for home use.
In this review, we will only look at two generators, the Westinghouse WGen7500 (7500 Watt) and the DuroMax XP12000EH (12000 Watt).
Because portable generators cannot supply a complete home anyway, you may choose to use your current portable generator that is compatible with a transfer switch and limit the number of circuits and appliances you can use in an emergency. However, if you choose to upgrade or need to buy one, the following review will be a valuable aid in selecting the best generator to connect to a house.
12Kw generator. Read our indepth review of the XP12000EH.
- Dual fuel technology allows generator to be run on propane or gas
- Heavy duty frame with four Point fully isolated motor mounts for Smooth quiet operation
- Full power panel with oil warning light, volt meter, circuit breaker and power outlets
- Run-time on gasoline at 50% maximum output: 10 hrs. Run-time on propane at 50% maximum output: 20 hrs. (Standard BBQ tank size)
- Low oil shut-off protects engine. Quiet muffler reduces engine noise
The DuroMax XP12000EH is a high-power quality generator for your home, business or for recreational use. This machine delivers 12000-Watts peak power and will happily run all day with 9500 Watts of continuous power. It is fully capable of supplying the startup current needed by most appliances. This machine is best suited for the 12kW transfer switch, Pro/Tran 2 that can handle 4, 6 and 10 circuits in the house.
DuroMax is a California-based company and as a local US manufacturer, they comply with ETL and MTL standards.
The DuroMax XP12000EH is a Dual-Fuel generator, which means it can run on gas and on propane. The dual-fuel capabilities offer the advantage that it can run on Gas when available and when it runs out you can grab the propane tank from the barbecue area and use it. The manufacturer claims excellent run times on propane that exceed the gas run time by far. As far as value for money and versatility is concerned, the DuroMax brand is the most cost effective.
It has an18 HP 457 CC Over Head Valve (OHV) engine that can handle high-Wattage loads with ease. It can be used for powering most of your home or RV camping and it can keep machinery running on a construction site all day. It is equipped with low-oil protection to make sure the engine will not run with low oil levels and damage itself.
You can choose to use both 120-Volt and 240-Volt simultaneously or only 120 Volt with full power.
The DuroMax XP12000EH has AC and DC regulators to ensure a stable 120/240V supply to your home that will not go up and down with load changes. It can handle appliance startup loads of 12,000 Watt and can run continuously on 9,500W.
A spark arrestor in the noise-reducing muffler allows it to be used in U.S. National Parks, ensuring that your unit will remain safe and in top operating condition.
For a big machine, it is relatively quiet at 72dB. This is quieter than most generators in its class so it will not upset the neighbors. It is easy to start and operate with electric and recoil start.
It also has current overload protection:
The DuroMax XP12000EH has a main overload circuit breaker and individual circuit breakers for each of the power outlet sockets. This prevents any damage caused by circuit overload or short circuit conditions. The circuit breakers can be reset after correcting the power overload.
Excellent Build Quality
The DuroMax XP12000EH is built in the US from the highest quality materials and to the most stringent quality control standards. The engine is mounted using four-point rubber mountings to ensure smooth running, this reduces vibrations and noise, even under the toughest working conditions.
Easy to transport despite its weight
The DuroMax XP12000EH comes complete with a transportation kit, which includes 10” rubber wheels and handles for great portability.
Easy to start
The DuroMax XP12000EH is equipped with an electric starter, so it will start with ease when turning the key. You can still start it if the battery runs low because it retains the recoil starter. For peace of mind, the machine charges the battery when the generator is running.
Read our comprehensive review of the DuroMax XP12000EH.
- 7500 Running Watts and 9500 Peak Watts; Remote Start with Included Key Fob, Electric and Recoil Start; 6.6 Gallon Fuel Tank with Fuel Gauge; 10 Hour Run Time at 50% Load
- Features Two GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) 5-20R 120V Household Duplex Receptacle and One L14-30R 120/240V Twist-Lock Receptacle; All Outlets Have Rubber Covers for Added Safety
- Plug-and-Play: Comes with a Remote Start Key Fob, 12V Battery Charger, Oil, an Oil Funnel, a Tool Kit, and a User’s Manual to Get You Started Right Out of the Box (Minimal Assembly Required)
- Powered by a 420 cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine Featuring a Long-Lasting Cast Iron with
- Automatic Low Oil Shutdown and Digital Hour Meter
- EPA, CARB, and CSA Compliant; Backed By a 3-Year Limited Warranty; Nationwide Customer Service and Support Network.
The Westinghouse WGen7500 gives you 7500W running power and peak starting power of 9500W. This makes it great for connecting the generator to a house. At 7500 Watt, it will handle most of the house circuits. The Westinghouse Wgen7500 is suited to the Connecticut Electric EmerGen G2 switches that can handle up to 7.5kW.
Westinghouse Wgen generators have a 3-year warranty, which shows you how much confidence Westinghouse has in their products. The Westinghouse Electric Company was established in 1886 and Westinghouse is a household name in the US. The company’s long-standing reputation has earned them a place in the history books, time and again.
The Westinghouse Wgen7500 has a 420cc, OHV Engine with a cast iron sleeve. This engine runs up to 10 hrs on a single tank so there is no need to refill the tank constantly. The engine starts with a convenient push button and can be started remotely as well. Westinghouse engines are EPA, CSA and CARB compliant. They feature a Low-Oil Shutoff to protect the engine against low oil situations that can cause the engine to destroy itself.
This engine is powerful enough to run the 7.5 kW generator with ease. You need to choose your circuit loads carefully during changeover when using the EmerGen G2 switches with this generator. If you are not careful, the 30A circuit breaker will trip because the machine can supply more than the switch can handle. When used with the Pro/Tran 2 switches the 30A limit is removed and the full power of the machine can be used.
This machine has a well laid out panel and covered outlets, 2 X 5-20R 120V GFCI duplex household receptacles give you multiple outlets to power your items on a construction site or when camping. A L14-30 receptacle is supplied to connect the generator to the transfer switch. It also has a digital output display that gives you volt, frequency and hour readings. .
All the circuits are protected against overload by circuit breakers, which can be reset when the overload condition is removed.
The Westinghouse Wgen7500 is supplied with a 12V battery charger, oil, an oil funnel, a tool kit, and a user’s manual to make sure that using it is a pleasure. A 3-Year Warranty gives you the confidence you need. You can be sure that the product is going to last a long time.
Important factors to consider when choosing a generator
Unfortunately the 7.5kW (7500 Watts) and especially the 12kW (12000 Watt) models are not really portable and rather fall into the category of a luggable generator, due to their weight. You will notice that the units weigh between 207 lb and 265 lb, the weight of a grown man! Having said that, the machines are moved around on wheels and therefor can be used to do various tasks around the house, construction site or for vacations. The wheels also make it easy to move from storage to where you want to set it up outside your home. The additional power from the heavy machines also makes it handy when using power tools
What does CARB compliant mean?
Our friends in California must make sure that their generators are CARB compliant. Only one of the generators that we reviewed here is CARB compliant.
CARB stands for California Air Resources Board. CARB is an agency that deals with environmental protection, specifically air pollution. Because of this, a generator used in California needs to be compliant with CARB’s rules and regulations. The Westinghouse 7500EC 7500 Watt Portable Generator is CARB Compliant, while the Duromax XP12000EH is not. The 12000-Watt XP15000E may be considered when choosing a CARB compliant Duromax model. For a detailed discussion about this topic read our article: What is CARB compliant?
How should you store the generator?
When storing a gas powered portable generator, you should probably consider an appropriate fuel stabilizer or be prepared to drain the machine. Storing the machine for 2 months or more will cause the fuel lines and carburetor can gum up. This means that the machine will not start and must be cleaned out first. When there is no fuel line drain, as with some portable generators, I recommend that you shut off the fuel supply and run the engine until it stops. If a fuel line drain is installed, it is a lot easier to drain the carburetor. I do not recommend emptying the tank; the inside of the tank will be exposed to a damp environment and could rust inside. Rather keep it topped up, so it is ready when you need it.
What about sensitive electronic equipment?
Most non-inverter generators are not recommended for supplying power to sensitive electronic equipment like computers, tablets, cellphones or medical devices because of the inherent uneven sine wave in the AC supply from a generator. Total harmonic distortion (THD) is a measurement of the harmonic distortion present in a sine wave. For most of these appliances, THD must be less than 5%. Only the inverter generators make this claim.
Most manufacturers do not list the THD of the generator. Some generators reduce the voltage as the load increases. You should consider using an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) for these sensitive devices when using it with the non-inverter generator.
When choosing a generator make sure it has automatic voltage regulation like the DuroMax and Westinghouse machines. This provides reliable and precise voltage control for demanding applications.
Where should I place the generator when using it?
A portable generator used with the transfer switch, must be operated outside any building and should not be used when exposed to rain or snow. Also, keep in mind that a portable generator performs best when standing on firm ground. Big generators also tend to be noisier and could annoy you and your neighbors during long power outages. Consider an area away from any windows or doors, under a roof overhang and protected from snow buildup and rain.